Banned in Bisbee

American Theatre of Actors, Manhattan

By Andrew Andrews

An old song says that “life could be a dream, if only all my precious plans would come true.”

But is a “dream life” really desirable? Think of all the crazy stuff that happens in dreams!

Dreams are unnerving.

Dreams are inconsistent.

And dreams are incoherent.

Nonetheless, Dr. Irving A. Greenfield takes us there in Banned in Brisbee, now playing at the American Theatre of Actors’ Sargent Theatre in Hell’s Kitchen.

With a broad cast of perfect caricatures straight out of the playwright’s 300+ novels, Greenfield leads us into slumber land, where the star of his Depth Force series, Captain Jack Boxer (Ken Coughlin) and his sidekick Master Chief Gomez (Manny Rey), visit Brisbee, Arizona mayor William Wholemouth (Nick Pascarella) and his wife Mary Lou Beth (Gina Zenyuch) as they sleep.

Why, you ask? Because years prior, said mayor banned the Depth Force series and a slew of other novels as indecent… and Boxer wants vengeance.

With scenes in the Wholemouth’s bedroom bookmarking the action in a dive bar tended by Hanry “Hank” O’Bannon (Tony Scheer), Greenfield’s story delivers all of the elements of a dream world to the stage: a surreal scenario, questionable chronology, farcical action and even that strangest of situations when you realize you’re in a dream but refuse to wake yourself out of it.

Meredith Rust, Aaron Vargas, Joshua Patriarco and Robert Uller round out the cast, with the latter delivering an especially comical role as the small-minded sheriff of a small-minded town.

Despite its dream-like state, the story is remarkably easy to follow and equally entertaining.

So check it out, then come back here and tell us whether you found it dreamy, or more like a nightmare!

Your reviews help others decide whether Banned in Bisbee is right for them, and your ratings help us help you find future shows you’re sure to love!

Andrew Andrews attended Banned in Bisbee at American Theatre of Actors in Manhattan on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 @ 8:00pm to write this review.